There are a couple of very important factors to consider before migrating from your old website to a new one. These concerns are majorly centered on trying to ensure that you do not lose all the SEO you’ve built over the years during the transfer.
These very key factors include, but are not limited to the following under-listed things:
- Make sure you have the right hosting platform
- Carefully select the location of your server
- Make sure you are migrating for the right reasons
- Having a solid backup
Okay, so we already know all the things you should be wary of when migrating to a new website. But, for all our readers who may not know, especially those from all over the US, here is what website migration means.
What Is Website Migration?
According to Optix Solutions, website migration is a process that involves the redirection of all your old web pages to newer ones. This does not only help you to avoid duplication but it also helps to mitigate any negative effects the migration may potentially have on your rankings as well.
Why Do You Need To Think About Website Migration In Advance?
The greatest reason would be to safeguard not only an already built visitors and client base but also to avoid losing valuable SEO as well.
Think of your website as a physical shop or business address that’s already well known and registered with your local council, of course. Now, would you just pack up and leave to another location without making certain preparations in advance? Of course, you wouldn’t.
You must understand that moving from an old website to a new one is exactly like this. You would most certainly do some or all of the following when changing a physical business location:
- You ensure not to miss any calls by having your business phone number redirected.
- Report to your local council to register a change of business address.
- Ensure that your new mails get to you by forwarding your post to the new address.
- Most importantly, you leave a huge sign at the old entrance and window that says “We’ve Moved!”, and leave the new address on it too, of course.
Now, the same applies to your website too. Pages cease to exist on your old website the moment you go live on the new one. Sadly, the lost pages are still available on Google. The only problem is that they would now lead to a dead-end if your website migration is handled professionally and efficiently as well.
So, what are some of the most important things you need to consider in advance when migrating to a new website?
1. Are You Certain You Need To Migrate?
Most times in life and business as well, sadly, we do things not because we need to but because we want to. In the case of your business website, this may be an all too costly error of judgment.
You need to be certain that this migration needs to be done. You could do that by asking yourself a few questions about your current website and the potential new one.
Is your old website on a secure connection? Does it need redesigning? Do you need to switch to a new hosting provider, or change CMS systems? Do you need to change your website’s architecture? Do you need to change your domain name, or possibly merge with another website?
We believe that these, and many more questions, need to be answered in the affirmative for you to need a website migration exercise.
2. Avoid Migrating During A Fast Period
If your website is affected by seasonal periods – like holidays and festivities – it might be a very bad idea to migrate during or immediately after such periods.
That’s because festive periods are known as “fast periods” during every calendar year, and migrating during such would have negative effects on your traffic. A smooth website migration process should help prevent loss of traffic, not induce it.
3. Keep Proper Track Of All Your URLs
When you remove a page, you also cut it off from search engine traffic automatically. You must keep proper records of all your old URLs to ensure they’re all replaced on the new website.
This way, you get to ensure that all of your old pages will be available on the new website. If you have way too many missing pages, Google’s algorithm may conclude that your new site is different from the old one. This completely defeats the essence of migration, now, doesn’t it?
4. Make Sure To Run A Website Crawl Before You Migrate
A website crawl enables you to identify and rectify existing redirects and errors on your old website. Besides keeping proper track of your URLs, you need to ensure this is done before migrating as well so that nothing gets lost.
Also, make sure that there are no redirect chains after migrating to the new site. You can do this by ensuring that all links that lead to redirected pages are updated to lead to the final page instead. One of the tools you could use for this is the Screaming Frog.
5. Avoid Duplication Issues When It Comes To Your Content As Well
It’s not uncommon to have a few mistakes here and there during a website migration process. These mistakes can create content duplication issues for your new site.
Hence, it is your responsibility to be vigilant and make sure to avoid all such mistakes.
Website migration surely isn’t something you just do on a whim. You need to consult with people that have expertise in SEO website migration or hire a great website migration company at the very least.
Whatever you do though, you must ensure that you leave no stone unturned during the entire process or else you stand to lose more than just SEO and rankings.